JP4710468B2 - Print request apparatus, print system, and print request method - Google Patents

Print request apparatus, print system, and print request method Download PDF

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JP4710468B2
JP4710468B2 JP2005218388A JP2005218388A JP4710468B2 JP 4710468 B2 JP4710468 B2 JP 4710468B2 JP 2005218388 A JP2005218388 A JP 2005218388A JP 2005218388 A JP2005218388 A JP 2005218388A JP 4710468 B2 JP4710468 B2 JP 4710468B2
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print
print request
printing
processing unit
image
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JP2007034779A (en
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秀樹 両角
健二 作田
義奈朗 北原
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セイコーエプソン株式会社
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1202Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to achieve a particular effect
    • G06F3/1203Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management
    • G06F3/1205Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management resulting in increased flexibility in print job configuration, e.g. job settings, print requirements, job tickets
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1202Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to achieve a particular effect
    • G06F3/1203Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management
    • G06F3/1204Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management resulting in reduced user or operator actions, e.g. presetting, automatic actions, using hardware token storing data
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1202Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to achieve a particular effect
    • G06F3/1203Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management
    • G06F3/1208Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management resulting in improved quality of the output result, e.g. print layout, colours, workflows, print preview
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1202Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to achieve a particular effect
    • G06F3/1211Improving printing performance
    • G06F3/1215Improving printing performance achieving increased printing speed, i.e. reducing the time between printing start and printing end
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1223Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to use a particular technique
    • G06F3/1224Client or server resources management
    • G06F3/1226Discovery of devices having required properties
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1223Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to use a particular technique
    • G06F3/1237Print job management
    • G06F3/1244Job translation or job parsing, e.g. page banding
    • G06F3/1246Job translation or job parsing, e.g. page banding by handling markup languages, e.g. XSL, XML, HTML
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1278Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to adopt a particular infrastructure
    • G06F3/1285Remote printer device, e.g. being remote from client or server
    • G06F3/1286Remote printer device, e.g. being remote from client or server via local network

Description

  The present invention relates to a print request apparatus, a print system, and a print request method.

  The UPnP forum has proposed “PrintEnhanced” that realizes a printing function on Universal Plug and Play (UPnP (trademark)) (see Non-Patent Documents 1 and 2, for example). “PrintEnhanced” describes the content and layout of a printed document using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) -Print and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) PrintProfile (see, for example, Non-Patent Documents 1, 2 and 3).

On the other hand, in recent years, printers capable of direct printing are increasing. In the direct printing system, a digital still camera or the like is directly connected to a printer without using a personal computer, an image file in the digital still camera is transferred to the printer, and an image based on the image data of the file is printed on the printer. In particular, many printer products compliant with “PictBridge” are sold. In such a direct printing method, a printing condition (paper type, paper size, layout, number of copies, etc.) and an image file to be printed are specified in a print request.
"PrintEnhanced: 1 Service Template Version 1.01", [online], May 4, 2005, UPnP Forum, [searched July 12, 2005], Internet <URL: http://www.upnp.org/ standardizeddcps / documents / Service_PrintEnhanced_v1_050504.pdf> "UPnP Device Architecture Version 1.0", [online], June 8, 2000, UPnP Forum, [searched July 12, 2005], Internet <URL: http://www.upnp.org/download/ UPnPDA10_20000613.htm> "XHTML-Print", [online], January 20, 2004, W3C, [searched July 12, 2005], Internet <URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-print/>

  In the conventional direct printing system, there are many forms in which a digital still camera or the like is connected to a printer with a USB cable, but recently, control information (request, response, notification, etc.) in the direct printing system is transmitted via an IP network. Sending and receiving can be considered.

  In particular, in the case of PictBridge, PTP (Photo Transfer Protocol) is used to send and receive files such as XML script files and image files including control information. However, PTP / IP (PTP over IP) is used via an IP network. Direct printing system is possible.

  Also, as described above, “PrintEnhanced”, an HTML system that interprets HTML data such as a markup language equivalent to HTML, such as XHTML (eXtensive HTML), a subset or superset of HTML, and prints the HTML document In the printing method, it is possible to easily print HTML data via an IP network using HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). For example, in “PrintEnhanced”, UPnP (trademark) is used for the lower layer, so printing via an IP network is a prerequisite.

  Under such circumstances, in the future, printers for direct printing and printers for HTML printing will be mixed in computer networks such as home LAN and office LAN, and both direct printing and HTML printing will be supported. There may be a printer that does. Also, it is assumed that various home appliances, mobile devices, etc. are connected to such a network by DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) and the like, and printers as described above are also used from those devices other than personal computers. The

  Therefore, in the case of a device that supports both the direct printing method and the HTML printing method, it is necessary to select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method at the time of printing. It is difficult for such a user to select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and obtains a print request apparatus, a print system, and a print request method that can automatically select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method to execute printing. For the purpose.

  In order to solve the above problems, the present invention is configured as follows.

  The print request apparatus according to the present invention interprets HTML data and first print request generation means for generating a print request for a direct printing method for printing an image based on an image file specified in the print request. A second print request generation unit that generates a print request for an HTML printing method for printing, and one of the first print request generation unit and the second print request generation unit when generating the print request; And a print control means for generating a print request.

  Accordingly, it is possible to automatically select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method and execute printing.

  In addition to the above-described print request apparatus, the print request apparatus according to the present invention may be configured as follows. That is, in this case, the application processing unit displays at least an image on a predetermined display device and supplies a print instruction to the print control unit. The print control unit selects either the first print request generation unit or the second print request generation unit according to the type of the application processing unit when generating the print request corresponding to the print instruction. .

  Thus, it is possible to automatically select the optimum printer or printing method for each application and execute printing.

  Further, the print request apparatus according to the present invention may be configured as follows in addition to any of the print request apparatuses described above. That is, in this case, the layout designation unit designates a layout at the time of printing. The print control unit selects either the first print request generation unit or the second print request generation unit according to the layout type specified by the layout specification unit.

  As a result, it is possible to automatically select the optimum printer or printing method for the designated print layout and execute printing.

  In addition to the above-described print request apparatus, the print request apparatus according to the present invention may be configured as follows. That is, in this case, when the selection information for selecting any one of the predetermined number of default layouts in the direct printing method is layout information, the layout specified by the layout specifying unit is any of the default layouts. If they match, the first print request generation means is selected.

  Thereby, it is possible to easily and quickly specify the layout in the print request.

  Further, the print request apparatus according to the present invention may be configured as follows in addition to any of the print request apparatuses described above. That is, in this case, the print control unit selects either the first print request generation unit or the second print request generation unit depending on whether or not characters are included in the print target.

  As a result, it is possible to automatically select the optimum printer or printing method for the designated printing target and execute printing. That is, when characters are included in the print target, an HTML printing method that can print an image and characters in a desired layout is selected, and the print target is printed appropriately.

  Further, the print request apparatus according to the present invention may be configured as follows in addition to any of the print request apparatuses described above. That is, in this case, the first print request generation unit generates a print request for PictBridge, and the second print request generation unit generates a print request for XHTML-Print.

  As a result, the first or second print request generation means is appropriately selected so as to take advantage of the advantages of the relatively fast PictBridge and the XHTML-Print capable of image and character layout.

  A printing system according to the present invention includes any one of the above-described print requesting apparatuses that transmit a print request, a first printing unit that receives a print request from the print requesting apparatus and performs printing in a direct printing method, and the print requesting apparatus And a second printing means for receiving a print request from the printer and performing printing by the HTML printing method.

  Accordingly, it is possible to automatically select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method and execute printing.

  The print request method according to the present invention, when generating a print request, prints an HTML print method for interpreting HTML data and printing the HTML document, and an image based on the image file specified by the print request. Selecting a direct printing method to be performed, generating a print request in the selected printing method, and transmitting the generated print request to execute printing.

  Accordingly, it is possible to automatically select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method and execute printing.

  Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.

Embodiment 1 FIG.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a printing system according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention. In FIG. 1, a direct print printer 1 is a printer that is connected to a communication network 4, receives a print request, and executes direct printing for printing an image based on an image file designated by the print request.

  The XHTML printer 2 is a printer that is connected to the communication network 4, receives a print request, interprets HTML data, and executes HTML printing that prints the HTML document. In an HTML printing system such as XHTML-Print, characters and images can be printed in a desired layout.

  The print request device 3 is connected to the communication network 4 and transmits a print request. As a form of the print requesting apparatus 3, for example, a personal computer, a television broadcast receiver, other home appliances, a kiosk terminal, a mobile phone, and the like are conceivable. In FIG. 1, there is only one print requesting device 3, but a plurality of print requesting devices 3 may be connected to the communication network 4.

  A direct printing method such as PictBridge is a printing method that prints only images except for fixed characters such as dates. In the case of the direct printing method, the layout designation in the printing condition only needs to designate items such as 1-up and 2-up, and it is not necessary to designate the layout by numerical values. That is, in the case of the direct printing method, the direct printing printer 1 calculates and prints the image print position, print size, aspect ratio, and the like in accordance with the paper size and layout designation.

  On the other hand, in XHTML-Print, it is necessary for the print requesting apparatus 3 to specify the arrangement positions of characters and images in the XHTML data with numerical values. That is, in the case of XHTML-Print, the print requesting apparatus 3 includes layout information in which layout is specified by numerical values in XHTML data, and the XHTML printer 2 lays out the printing contents with the numerical values of the layout information. Therefore, the layout designation in XHTML-Print is more detailed and complicated than the layout designation in PictBridge.

  The communication network 4 may be a local area network (LAN) such as a home or office, or a wide area network (WAN) such as the Internet. The communication network 4 may be a wired network, a wireless network, or a mixture of both. In the first embodiment, the communication network 4 is an IP (Internet Protocol) network.

  FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the direct printing printer 1 in FIG. The direct print printer 1 shown in FIG. 2 includes a print control unit 11, a DP processing unit 12, a PTP processing unit 13, a PTP / IP processing unit 14, and a network communication unit 15.

  The print control unit 11 is a part that controls a printing mechanism (not shown) to perform printing on printing paper or the like. The DP processing unit 12 is a part that generates and interprets an XML (eXtensive Markup Language) script including control information (request, response, notification, etc.) based on a direct printing protocol such as PictBridge. Further, the PTP processing unit 13 is a part that transmits the XML script file generated by the DP processing unit 12 or receives the XML script file and the image file interpreted by the DP processing unit 12 by PTP. is there. The PTP / IP processing unit 14 is a part that converts a PTP command and response issued by the PTP processing unit 13 into an IP packet and converts an IP packet into a PTP command and response. The network communication unit 15 is connected to the communication network 4 and includes a physical layer, a MAC (Medium Access Control) layer, and a TCP / IP (Transmission Control Protocol / IP) layer.

  Note that the TCP / IP layer of the print control unit 11, DP processing unit 12, PTP processing unit 13, PTP / IP processing unit 14, and network communication unit 15 is stored in a ROM or the like by a microprocessing unit (MPU) (not shown). This is realized by loading a program stored in the recording medium into the RAM and executing it.

  FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the XHTML printer 2 in FIG. The XHTML print printer 2 shown in FIG. 3 includes a print control unit 21, an XHTML processing unit 22, a PE1 processing unit 23, a UPnP processing unit 24, an HTTP processing unit 25, and a network communication unit 26.

  The print control unit 21 is a part that controls a printing mechanism (not shown) to perform printing on printing paper or the like. The XHTML processing unit 22 is a part that interprets XHTML data acquired based on PE1 (PrintEnhanced: 1), which is a service on UPnP (trademark). The PE1 processing unit 23 provides a print service on UPnP (trademark) based on PE1 (PrintEnhanced: 1). When the PE1 processing unit 23 receives the print request, the PE1 processing unit 23 extracts information on the print condition included in the print request, or acquires the XHTML data to be printed.

  In PE1, there are a PUSH type print request and a PULL type print request. Upon receiving the PUSH type print request, the PE1 processing unit 23 transmits the XHTML data to be printed with an HTTP POST command. The destination URI (Universal Resource Identifier) is notified to the transmission source of the print request. On the other hand, when receiving a PULL type print request, the PE1 processing unit 23 obtains XHTML data to be printed from the location indicated by the URI included in the print request, using an HTTP GET command by the HTTP processing unit 25.

  The UPnP processing unit 24 is a part that performs connection processing such as assignment of an IP address to the own device and notification of the own device IP address to a communication partner. The HTTP processing unit 25 is a part that transmits and receives commands and responses transmitted and received by the UPnP processing unit 24 using HTTP. The network communication unit 26 is connected to the communication network 4 and includes a physical layer, a MAC layer, and a TCP • UDP / IP (Transmission Control Protocol-User Datagram Protocol / IP) layer.

  The TCP / UDP / IP layer of the print control unit 21, XHTML processing unit 22, PE1 processing unit 23, UPnP processing unit 24, HTTP processing unit 25, and network communication unit 26 is provided by a microprocessing unit (MPU) (not shown). This is realized by loading a program stored in a recording medium such as a ROM into the RAM and executing it.

  FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating the configuration of the print requesting apparatus 3 according to the first embodiment. The print request apparatus 3 illustrated in FIG. 4 includes an arithmetic processing unit 31, a user interface unit 32, a recording medium 33, and a network communication circuit 34.

  The arithmetic processing unit 31 is realized by a program stored in a recording medium such as a ROM being loaded into a RAM and executed by an arithmetic processing device such as a CPU or MPU (not shown).

  The IP processing unit 41 is a part that performs processing of the TCP / UDP / IP layer. The DP processing unit 42 is a part that generates and interprets an XML script including control information (request, response, notification, etc.) based on a direct printing protocol such as PictBridge. The DP processing unit 42 functions as a first print request generation unit that generates a print request for the direct printing method. The PTP processing unit 43 is a part that transmits the XML script file and the image file 33a generated by the DP processing unit 42 or receives the XML script file and the image file interpreted by the DP processing unit 42 by PTP. is there. The PTP / IP processing unit 44 is a part that converts a PTP command and response issued by the PTP processing unit 43 into an IP packet, and converts an IP packet into a PTP command and response. Thereby, PTPoverIP is realized.

  In the first embodiment, the network communication circuit 34, the IP processing unit 41, the PTP / IP processing unit 44, and the PTP processing unit 43 use the direct printing method with the direct printing printer 1 as the first printing unit. First communication means for establishing a communication path for transmitting and receiving a print request is configured.

  The XHTML generation unit 46 is a part that generates XHTML data describing a print target. The PE1 processing unit 47 is a part that provides a printing service on UPnP (trademark) based on PE1 (PrintEnhanced: 1). The PE1 processing unit 47 functions as a second print request generation unit that generates a print request for the HTML printing method. In PE1, various actions such as a print request, print job cancellation, acquisition of printer status information, and various parameters representing control information at the time of printing are defined. The PE1 processing unit 47 sends and receives control information (print request, etc.) at the time of printing with a PE1-compliant printer.

  In PE1, there are a PUSH type print request and a PULL type print request. When using the PUSH type print request, the PE1 processing unit 47 displays the XHTML to be printed in the URI notified from the destination printer. Data is transmitted by an HTTP POST command by the HTTP processing unit 49. On the other hand, when using a PULL type print request, the PE1 processing unit 47 includes a URI indicating the storage location of the XHTML data to be printed in the print request. In the case of PE1, layout information is included in the XHTML data, and other printing conditions are transmitted and received as parameters of PE1.

  The UPnP processing unit 48 is a part that performs connection processing such as assignment of an IP address to the own device and notification of the own device IP address to a communication partner. The HTTP processing unit 49 is a part that transmits and receives commands and responses transmitted and received by the UPnP processing unit 48 using HTTP.

  In the first embodiment, the network communication circuit 34, the IP processing unit 41, the HTTP processing unit 49, and the UPnP processing unit 48 make a print request for the XHTML printing method with the XHTML printer 2 as the second printing unit. The second communication means for establishing a communication path for transmitting and receiving is configured.

  The image application processing unit 51 is realized by executing an application program, and is a processing unit that handles at least the image file 33a. In the first embodiment, the image application processing unit 51 functions as an HTML browser.

  The image application processing unit 52 is realized by executing an application program, and is a processing unit that handles the image file 33a. In the first embodiment, the image application processing unit 52 functions as an image viewer.

  When there is a print instruction from the image application processing units 51 and 52, the print control unit 53 selects either the direct printing method or the XHTML printing method, and causes the selected printing method to print the content based on the printing instruction. Is a part that is performed in cooperation with one of the printers 1 and 2. That is, the print control unit 53 functions as a print control unit that selects one of the DP processing unit 42 and the PE1 processing unit 46 and generates a print request when generating the print request.

  The user interface unit 32 includes a display device and an input device, presents various information to the user, and detects an operation by the user. As the display device, a display, an indicator, or the like is used as appropriate. As the input device, various switches, a track pad, a remote controller (including a communication circuit), a keyboard, and the like are used as appropriate. A voice recognition system may be used as the input device.

  The recording medium 33 is a device such as a semiconductor memory capable of storing data such as an image file 33a, a magnetic recording medium such as a hard disk drive, an optical recording medium, or a magneto-optical recording medium. The recording medium 33 may be fixed to the apparatus 3 or may be detachable. The image file 33a is a file including image data in JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format, EXIF (EXchangeable Image File format) format, TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) format, or the like.

  The network communication circuit 34 is connected to the communication network 4 and has a physical layer and a MAC layer.

  Next, the operation of each device (mainly the print request device 3) in the printing system will be described. FIG. 5 is a flowchart for explaining the operation of the print requesting apparatus according to the first embodiment.

  The print control unit 53 of the print requesting device 3 monitors whether or not a print instruction has been generated by the image application processing units 51 and 52, etc. (step S1). Execute the process. This print instruction is issued, for example, when a predetermined operation (for example, pressing of a print button on the GUI) of the user interface unit 32 is detected by the image application processing unit 51, 52 or the like.

  First, when a print instruction is generated, the print control unit 53 selects a print method according to the type of the image application processing unit 51, 52 or the like in which the print instruction is generated (step S2).

  At this time, when a print instruction is issued by the image application processing unit 51 functioning as an HTML browser, the print control unit 53 selects the XHTML printing method (the PE1 processing unit 47 as the print request generation unit) as the printing method. To do. On the other hand, when a print instruction is issued by the image application processing unit 52 functioning as an image viewer, the print control unit 53 selects the direct printing method (DP processing unit 42 as the print request generating unit) as the printing method. .

  FIG. 6 is an example of a window displayed on the display device of the user interface unit 32 based on the image application processing unit 51 in the first embodiment. As shown in FIG. 6, it is preferable that an image 111 and a character group 112 are laid out and displayed in the window 101 of the HTML browser, and are printed while maintaining the layout at the time of printing.

  FIG. 7 is an example of a window displayed on the display device of the user interface unit 32 based on the image application processing unit 52 in the first embodiment. As shown in FIG. 7, since one desired image 211 is displayed in the window 201 of the image viewer, only that image needs to be printed at the time of printing.

  Therefore, when a print instruction is issued by the image application processing unit 51 functioning as an HTML browser, the print control unit 53 selects an XHTML printing method that allows a layout in which characters and images are mixed. On the other hand, when a print instruction is issued by the image application processing unit 52 functioning as an image viewer, the print control unit 53 does not need to print characters and does not need to specify a detailed layout. Select a faster direct printing method. The direct printing method specializes in image printing, and the default printing conditions are prepared in advance on the printer side, so there is no need to specify the layout as in the XHTML printing method, and only the image is printed. In this case, a direct printing method such as PictBridge is faster.

  Next, when the direct printing method is selected as the printing method (that is, when the DP processing unit 42 is selected) (step S3), the print control unit 53 performs direct printing with a lower communication layer such as a TCP / IP layer. 1 is started (step S4). As processing at this time, for example, communication at a predetermined TCP port is performed between the IP processing unit 41 and the network communication unit 15 of the direct print printer 1 to send and receive PTP commands and responses. A communication path is established and secured.

  In parallel with this processing, the print control unit 53 causes the DP processing unit 42 to generate a print request (step S5). At this time, the DP processing unit 42 generates an XML script as a print request including the designation of the image file 33a and the print conditions (paper size, paper type, layout selection, number of copies) in accordance with the print instruction. Note that the printing conditions at this time may be default or may be input by the user via the user interface unit 32.

  Thereafter, when the PTP command and response can be sent to and received from the direct printing printer 1, the DP processing unit 42 first performs connection processing with the DP processing unit 12 of the direct printing printer 1. One of the two DP processing units 12 and 42 recognizes the other as a communication partner in the direct printing protocol. Then, the DP processing unit 42 transmits the generated print request to the DP processing unit 12 of the direct print printer 1.

  This print request is transmitted and received as one file between the PTP processing unit 43 of the print requesting apparatus 3 and the PTP processing unit 13 of the direct print printer 1. At that time, the data on the PTP is transmitted as an IP packet on the communication network 4 which is an IP network through conversion by the PTP / IP processing units 44 and 14. At that time, the IP packet is transmitted by the IP processing unit 41 and reaches the network communication unit 15 of the direct print printer 1 via the network communication circuit 34 and the communication network 4.

  When the print request is received by the DP processing unit 12 of the direct printing printer 1 in this way, the DP processing unit 12 interprets the print request, extracts the designation of the image file 33a and the printing conditions, and the image. A transmission request for the file 33 a is transmitted to the DP processing unit 42. This transmission request is transmitted in the reverse direction along the same route as the above-described print request, reaches the DP processing unit 42, and the designated image file 33 a is transferred to the PTP processing unit 13 of the direct printing printer 1 by the PTP processing unit 43. It is transmitted (step S7).

  When the image file 33a is received by the PTP processing unit 13 of the direct print printer 1, the print control unit 11 appropriately performs color conversion processing, halftoning processing, etc. on the image file, and print control data. Based on the generated data, a printing mechanism (not shown) is controlled to print on printing paper or the like.

  When printing or transmission of the image data 33a is completed, a notification of completion is transmitted from the DP processing unit 12 and received by the DP processing unit 42 of the print requesting apparatus 3 (step S7). When receiving the completion notification, the DP processing unit 42 of the print requesting apparatus 3 ends the process.

  On the other hand, when the XHTML printing method is selected as the printing method (that is, when the DP processing unit 42 is selected) (step S8), the print control unit 53 establishes a communication path with the XHTML printer 1 using UPnP (trademark). Is started (step S9). As processing at this time, for example, discovery processing is performed between the UPnP processing unit 48 and the UPnP processing unit 24 of the XHTML printer 1, and a communication path for transmitting and receiving PE1 commands and responses and XHTML data is established. And secured.

  In parallel with this processing, the print control unit 53 causes the XHTML generation unit 46 to generate XHTML data (step S10). At this time, the XHTML generation unit 46 generates XHTML data as a print request including the designation of the image file 33a, characters, and layout information in accordance with the print instruction.

  Thereafter, when the PE1 command and response and the XHTML data can be transmitted to and received from the XHTML printer 2, the PE1 processing unit 47 transmits a print request designating the printing conditions to the XHTML processing unit 22 of the XHTML printer 2. (Step S11). Note that the printing conditions at this time may be default or may be input by the user via the user interface unit 32.

  This print request is transmitted and received between the UPnP processing unit 47 of the print requesting apparatus 3 and the UPnP processing unit 24 of the XHTML printer 2. This print request is transmitted and received by HTTP between the HTTP processing unit 49 of the lower layer and the HTTP processing unit 25 of the XHTML printer 2. At that time, the data on the HTTP is transmitted as an IP packet on the communication network 4 which is an IP network. At this time, the IP packet is transmitted by the IP processing unit 41 and reaches the network communication unit 26 of the XHTML printer 2 via the network communication circuit 34 and the communication network 4.

  When the print request is received by the PE1 processing unit 23 of the XHTML printer 2 in this way, the PE1 processing unit 23 interprets the print request, extracts the printing conditions, and receives the XHTML data to be printed. Or get.

  When the XHTML data is acquired by the PE1 processing unit 23, the XHTML processing unit 22 interprets the XHTML data, extracts the designation, characters, and layout information of the image file 33a, and issues a transmission request for the image file 33a. The HTTP processing unit 25 transmits the data to the HTTP processing unit 49. This transmission request is transmitted in the reverse direction along the same route as the above-described print request, reaches the HTTP processing unit 49, and the designated image file 33 a is transmitted to the HTTP processing unit 25 of the XHTML printer 2 by the HTTP processing unit 49. (Step S12).

  When the image file 33a is received by the HTTP processing unit 25 of the XHTML printer 2, the print control unit 21 arranges the image of the image file and the characters specified in the print request in the layout specified in the print request. Intermediate printing data is generated, color conversion processing, halftoning processing, etc. are appropriately performed on the printing intermediate data to generate printing control data, and a printing mechanism (not shown) is generated based on the data. Print on printing paper under control.

  When the printing or transmission of the image data 33a is completed, a notification of completion is transmitted from the PE1 processing unit 23 and received by the PE1 processing unit 47 of the print requesting apparatus 3 (step S12). When receiving the completion notification, the PE1 processing unit 47 of the print requesting apparatus 3 ends the processing.

  As described above, according to the first embodiment, the DP processing unit 42 as the first print request generation unit prints for the direct printing method for printing an image based on the image file specified by the print request. The request is generated, and the PE1 processing unit 47 as the second print request generation unit generates a print request for an HTML printing method that interprets and prints the HTML data. Then, when generating a print request, the print control unit 53 as a print control unit selects one of the DP processing unit 42 and the PE1 processing unit 47 to generate a print request. Accordingly, it is possible to automatically select an appropriate printer or an appropriate printing method and execute printing.

  Further, according to the first embodiment, the image application processing units 51 and 52 as application processing units display at least an image on a predetermined display device and supply a print instruction to the print control unit 53. The print control unit 53 selects either the DP processing unit 42 or the PE1 processing unit 47 according to the type of the image application processing units 51 and 52 when generating a print request corresponding to the print instruction. As a result, it is possible to automatically select the optimum printer or printing method for each application processing means and execute printing.

  Further, according to the first embodiment, the DP processing unit 42 generates a print request for PictBridge, and the PE1 processing unit 47 generates a print request for XHTML-Print. As a result, the first or second print request generation means is appropriately selected so as to take advantage of the advantages of the relatively fast PictBridge and the XHTML-Print capable of image and character layout.

Embodiment 2. FIG.
A printing system according to the second embodiment of the present invention is provided with a printer 5 having both a direct printing function and an XHTML-Print function instead of the printers 1 and 2 of the printing system according to the first embodiment. It is.

  FIG. 8 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a printing system according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention. In FIG. 8, a printer 5 is a printer that functions as a first printing unit that prints by a direct printing method and a second printing unit that prints by XHTML-Print. Note that the print request apparatus 3 and the communication network 4 are the same as those in the first embodiment, and a description thereof will be omitted.

  FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of the printer 5 according to the second embodiment. In FIG. 9, a print control unit 61 is a part that controls a printing mechanism (not shown) based on data from the DP processing unit 63 or data from the XHTML processing unit 66 and performs printing on printing paper or the like. . The network communication unit 62 is connected to the communication network 4 and includes a physical layer, a MAC layer, and a TCP / UDP / IP layer.

  The DP processing unit 63, the PTP processing unit 64, and the PTP / IP processing unit 65 are the same as the DP processing unit 12, the PTP processing unit 13, and the PTP / IP processing unit 14, respectively, in the first embodiment, and thus description thereof is omitted. To do.

  Further, XHTML processing unit 66, PE1 processing unit 67, UPnP processing unit 68, and HTTP processing unit 69 are the same as XHTML processing unit 22, PE1 processing unit 23, UPnP processing unit 24, and HTTP processing unit 25 in the first embodiment, respectively. Therefore, the description thereof is omitted.

  Next, the operation of each device in the printing system will be described.

  In the second embodiment, a print request is transmitted from the print request apparatus 3 to the printer 5 in both direct printing and XHTML-Print.

  In the printer 5, the print request of the direct printing method is supplied from the network communication unit 62 to the DP processing unit 63 via the PTP / IP processing unit 65 and the PTP processing unit 64. On the other hand, a print request for HXTML-Print is supplied from the network communication unit 62 to the PE1 processing unit 67 via the HTTP processing unit 69 and the UPnP processing unit 68. For example, the network communication unit 62 transmits and receives communication data of the PTP / IP processing unit 65 and the HTTP processing unit 69 of the upper layer through different ports of TCP or UDP, respectively, and distributes them.

  Since other operations of each device are the same as those in the first embodiment, the description thereof is omitted.

  As described above, according to the second embodiment, the same effect as in the first embodiment can be obtained.

Embodiment 3 FIG.
The printing system according to the third embodiment of the present invention is obtained by changing the internal configuration of the printer 5 in the printing system according to the second embodiment.

  FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of the printer 5 according to the third embodiment. In FIG. 10, a USB processing unit 71 is a USB communication circuit that functions as a USB host. The PTP relay unit 72 includes a PTP initiator unit that transmits and receives PTP commands and responses via the PTP / IP processing unit 65, and a PTP responder unit that transmits and receives PTP commands and responses via the USB processing unit 73. PTP commands and responses received via the PTP / IP processing unit 65 are transmitted via the USB processing unit 73, and PTP commands and responses received via the USB processing unit 73 are transmitted as PTP / IP Or transmitted via the processing unit 65. The USB processing unit 73 is a USB communication circuit that functions as a USB device. The hub 74 is a USB hub, and is a circuit that relays communication between one upper USB host and one or more lower USB devices. Here, the USB processing unit 71 is an upper USB host, and the USB processing unit 73 and the USB device connected to the connector 75 are lower USB devices. The connector 75 is a connector to which a USB device is connected via a USB cable.

  Since the print request apparatus 3, the communication network 4, and other components in the printer 5 are the same as those in the second embodiment, the description thereof is omitted.

  Next, the operation of each device in the printing system will be described.

  In the third embodiment, a print request is transmitted from the print request apparatus 3 to the printer 5 in both direct printing and XHTML-Print.

  In the printer 5, a print request for direct printing is transmitted from the network communication unit 62 through the PTP / IP processing unit 65, the PTP relay unit 72, the USB processing unit 73, the hub 74, the USB processing unit 71, and the PTP processing unit 64. It is supplied to the processing unit 63. On the other hand, a print request for HXTML-Print is supplied from the network communication unit 62 to the PE1 processing unit 67 via the HTTP processing unit 69 and the UPnP processing unit 68. The network communication unit 62 transmits and receives communication data of the PTP / IP processing unit 65 and the HTTP processing unit 69 of the upper layer through different ports of TCP or UDP.

  In the printer 5 according to the third embodiment, for example, a digital still camera conforming to “PictBridge” is connected to the connector 75 via a USB cable, so that direct printing can be performed between the digital still camera and the printer 5. It becomes. In this case, a print request for the direct printing method is supplied from the digital still camera to the DP processing unit 63 via the hub 74, the USB processing unit 71, and the PTP processing unit 64.

  Since other operations of each device are the same as those in the second embodiment, description thereof is omitted.

  As described above, according to the third embodiment, the same effect as in the second embodiment can be obtained.

  Each embodiment described above is a preferred example of the present invention, but the present invention is not limited to these, and various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. It is.

  For example, in each of the above-described embodiments, a processing unit that designates a layout at the time of printing may be provided as the image application processing unit 51 (52). In this case, the image application processing unit 51 (52) as the layout designating unit designates the print layout to the print control unit 53. Then, the print control unit 53 selects either the DP processing unit 42 or the PE1 processing unit 47 according to the layout type designated by the image application processing unit 51 (52). As a result, it is possible to automatically select the optimum printer or printing method for the designated print layout and execute printing.

  In particular, when the selection information for selecting any of a predetermined number of default layouts in the direct printing method is layout information, the print control unit 53 determines that the layout specified by the layout specifying unit is one of the default layouts. If they match, the DP processing unit 42 may be selected.

  Thereby, it is possible to easily and quickly specify the layout in the print request. For example, a direct printing printer such as PictBridge has a layout printing function such as recording medium label printing such as CD-R printing and label form printing in advance, and therefore, when these special layouts are designated, DP processing is performed. The part 42, that is, the direct printing method is designated. Thus, printing can be performed more easily and at a higher speed than generating XHTML data having complicated layout information.

  In each of the above-described embodiments, the print control unit 53 may select one of the DP processing unit 42 and the PE1 processing unit 47 depending on whether or not characters are included in the print target. . In this case, it is possible to automatically select the optimum printer or printing method for the designated printing target and execute printing. That is, an HTML printing method capable of printing an image and characters with a desired layout is selected, and a print target is appropriately printed.

  In each of the above-described embodiments, XHTML-Print is cited as an example of an HTML printing method, but other HTML printing methods may be used. Also in this case, data described in the markup language is supplied to the printer as a print target using PE1 or a protocol corresponding thereto.

  In each of the above-described embodiments, PictBridge is cited as an example of the direct printing method, but other direct printing methods may be used. As another direct printing method, there is a direct printing method unique to a printer vendor. Also in this case, the image file is transferred to the printer as it is, and the printer performs image processing such as color conversion on the image data of the image file to generate print data.

  Further, in each of the above-described embodiments, a function has been added in which one of the DP processing unit 42 and the PE1 processing unit 47 is forcibly selected by a user operation on the user interface unit 32 regardless of the selection by the print control unit 53. May be.

  The present invention can be applied to a device that transmits a print request to a printer when, for example, printing in both a direct printing method and an HTML printing method is possible in a home LAN, an office LAN, or the like.

1 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a printing system according to Embodiment 1. FIG. It is a figure which shows the structure of the direct printing printer in FIG. It is a figure which shows the structure of the XHTML printer in FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a print request apparatus in Embodiment 1. FIG. 6 is a diagram for explaining the operation of the print requesting apparatus according to the first embodiment. FIG. 3 is an example of a window displayed in the first embodiment. 3 is an example of a window displayed in the first embodiment. 5 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a printing system according to Embodiment 2. FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a printer according to Embodiment 2. FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a printer according to Embodiment 3. FIG.

Explanation of symbols

  DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 Direct printing printer (1st printing means) 2 XHTML printer (2nd printing means) 3 Print request apparatus 5 Printer (1st printing means, 2nd printing means), 33a Image file, 42 DP Processing unit (first print request generation unit), 47 PE1 processing unit (second print request generation unit), 51, 52 Image application processing unit (application processing unit, layout designation unit), 53 Print control unit (print control) means)

Claims (3)

  1. First print request generation means for generating a print request for a direct printing method using PTP for printing an image based on an image file designated by the print request;
    Second print request generation means for generating a print request for an HTML printing method using HTTP that interprets and prints HTML data;
    When generating the print request, select one of the first print request generator means and said second printing request generation means, and printing control means for generating a print request,
    Application processing means for displaying at least an image on a predetermined display device and supplying a print instruction to the print control means,
    Said print control means, when generating the print request corresponding to the printing instruction, the type of application processing means in accordance with whether the image application or not functioning as HTML browser using the HTTP, the first Selecting one of the print request generation means and the second print request generation means;
    A print requesting apparatus comprising:
  2. The print request apparatus according to claim 1, which transmits a print request;
    A first print means for receiving a print request from the print request apparatus performs printing in the direct printing method,
    A second printing means for receiving a print request from the print request apparatus performs printing in the HTML-based printing method,
    A printing system comprising:
  3. When generating a print request, an HTML printing method using HTTP that interprets the HTML data and prints the HTML document, and a PTP that prints an image based on the image file specified in the print request are used. Selecting one of the direct printing methods;
    Generating a print request for the selected printing method;
    Displaying at least an image on a predetermined display device and supplying a print instruction by an application;
    Sending the generated print request and executing printing;
    Equipped with a,
    In the selecting step, when the print request corresponding to the print instruction is generated, the selection is made according to whether or not the type of the application is an image application functioning as an HTML browser using the HTTP. Print request method.
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